29 Rights Protection Mechanisms
|gTLD||Full Legal Name||E-mail suffix||Detail|
|.mls||The Canadian Real Estate Association||crea.ca||View|
1. Mechanisms Designed to Prevent abusive registrations
Rights protection is a core objective of The Canadian Real Estate Association (“CREA”). CREA will implement and adhere to any rights protection mechanisms (RPMs) that may be mandated from time to time by ICANN, including each mandatory RPM set forth in the Trademark Clearinghouse model contained in the Registry Agreement, specifically Specification 7. CREA acknowledges that, at a minimum, ICANN requires a Sunrise period, a Trademark Claims period, and interaction with the Trademark Clearinghouse with respect to the registration of domain names for the .MLS gTLD. It should be noted that because ICANN, as of the time of this application submission, has not issued final guidance with respect to the Trademark Clearinghouse, CREA cannot fully detail the specific implementation of the Trademark Clearinghouse within this application. CREA will adhere to all processes and procedures to comply with ICANN guidance once this guidance is finalized.
As described in this response, CREA will implement a Sunrise period and Trademark Claims service with respect to the registration of domain names within the .MLS gTLD. Certain aspects of the Sunrise period and⁄or Trademark Claims service may be administered on behalf of CREA by CREA-approved registrars or by subcontractors of CREA, such as its selected backend registry services provider, Verisign. CREA will also use, as detailed in the answer to Question 18, eligibility requirements which will also provide rights protection. Most rights protection aspects of the eligibility requirements will be performed internally by CREA, with enactment (for example, suspension or transfer) by CREA.
Sunrise Period. As provided by the Trademark Clearinghouse model set forth in the ICANN Applicant Guidebook, the Sunrise service pre-registration procedure for domain names continues for at least 30 days prior to the launch of the general registration of domain names in the gTLD (unless CREA decides to offer a longer Sunrise period).
During the Sunrise period, holders of marks that have been previously validated by the Trademark Clearinghouse receive notice of domain names that are an identical match (as defined in the ICANN Applicant Guidebook) to their mark(s). Such notice is in accordance with ICANN’s requirements and is provided by CREA either directly or through CREA-approved registrars.
CREA requires all registrants, either directly or through CREA-approved registrars, to i) affirm that said registrants meet the Sunrise Eligibility Requirements (SER) and ii) submit to the Sunrise Dispute Resolution Policy (SDRP) consistent with Section 6 of the Trademark Clearinghouse model. At a minimum CREA recognizes and honors all word marks for which a proof of use was submitted and validated by the Trademark Clearinghouse as well as any additional eligibility requirements as specified in Question 18.
During the Sunrise period, CREA and⁄or CREA-approved registrars, as applicable, are responsible for determining whether each domain name is eligible to be registered (including in accordance with the SERs).
Trademark Claims Service. As provided by the Trademark Clearinghouse model set forth in the ICANN Applicant Guidebook, all new gTLDs will have to provide a Trademark Claims service for a minimum of 60 days after the launch of the general registration of domain names in the gTLD (Trademark Claims period).
During the Trademark Claims period, in accordance with ICANN’s requirements, CREA or the CREA-approved registrar will send a Trademark Claims Notice to any prospective registrant of a domain name that is an identical match (as defined in the ICANN Applicant Guidebook) to any mark that is validated in the Trademark Clearinghouse. The Trademark Claims Notice will include links to the Trademark Claims as listed in the Trademark Clearinghouse and will be provided at no cost.
Prior to registration of said domain name, CREA or the CREA-approved registrar will require each prospective registrant to provide the warranties dictated in the Trademark Clearinghouse model set forth in the ICANN Applicant Guidebook. Those warranties will include receipt and understanding of the Trademark Claims Notice and confirmation that registration and use of said domain name will not infringe on the trademark rights of the mark holders listed. Without receipt of said warranties, CREA or the CREA-approved registrar will not process the domain name registration.
Following the registration of a domain name, the CREA-approved registrar will provide a notice of domain name registration to the holders of marks that have been previously validated by the Trademark Clearinghouse and are an identical match. This notice will be as dictated by ICANN. At a minimum CREA will recognize and honor all word marks validated by the Trademark Clearinghouse.
Eligibility Restrictions. As set forth in the answer to Question 18, the .MLS gTLD will initially be made available to CREA’s member Boards and Foreign Affiliate members. After undertaking any required assessments, CREA may enter into a second phase where the gTLD would be made available to broker and salespeople members of CREA.
As also set forth in the answer to Question 18, each application will be manually reviewed to determine if the applicant is a member of CREA. CREA maintains membership requirements that members must adhere to in order to be eligible to use the .MLS gTLD. In addition, the applied for second level domain will also be reviewed to determine if it would make clear to Internet users what geographical region the MLS® services or listing information on the website represents. As set forth in the answer to Question 28, Whois registrant information must match the information submitted for CREA’s manual review, and CREA will work with accredited registrars to ensure that required back-end functionality for facilitating CREA’s hand review is available.
CREA promulgates policies regarding use of its MLS® trademark with which all members need comply. Trademark infringement uses are not allowed. CREA has internal policies, procedures, guidelines and personnel to address claims of abuse or violation of these guidelines.
2. Mechanisms Designed to Identify and address the abusive use of registered CREA names on an ongoing basis
In addition to the Sunrise and Trademark Claims services described in Section 1 of this response, CREA implements and adheres to RPMs post-launch as mandated by ICANN, and confirms that registrars accredited for the .MLS gTLD are in compliance with these mechanisms. Certain aspects of these post-launch RPMs may be administered on behalf of CREA by CREA-approved registrars or by subcontractors of CREA, such as its selected backend registry services provider, Verisign.
These post-launch RPMs include the established Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP), as well as the newer Uniform Rapid Suspension System (URS) and Trademark Post-Delegation Dispute Resolution Procedure (PDDRP). Where applicable, CREA will implement all determinations and decisions issued under the corresponding RPM.
After a domain name is registered, trademark holders can object to the registration through the UDRP or URS. Objections to the operation of the gTLD can be made through the PDDRP.
The following descriptions provide implementation details of each post-launch RPM for the .MLS gTLD:
* UDRP: The UDRP provides a mechanism for complainants to object to domain name registrations. The complainant files its objection with a UDRP provider and the domain name registrant has an opportunity to respond. The UDRP provider makes a decision based on the papers filed. If the complainant is successful, ownership of the domain name registration is transferred to the complainant. If the complainant is not successful, ownership of the domain name remains with the domain name registrant. CREA and entities operating on its behalf adhere to all decisions rendered by UDRP providers.
* URS: As provided in the Applicant Guidebook, all registries are required to implement the URS. Similar to the UDRP, a complainant files its objection with a URS provider. The URS provider conducts an administrative review for compliance with filing requirements. If the complaint passes review, the URS provider notifies the registry operator and locks the domain. A lock means that the registry restricts all changes to the registration data, but the name will continue to resolve. After the domain is locked, the complaint is served to the domain name registrant, who has an opportunity to respond. If the complainant is successful, the registry operator is informed and the domain name is suspended for the balance of the registration period; the domain name will not resolve to the original website, but to an informational web page provided by the URS provider. If the complainant is not successful, the URS is terminated and full control of the domain name registration is returned to the domain name registrant. Similar to the existing UDRP, CREA and entities operating on its behalf adhere to decisions rendered by the URS providers.
* PDDRP: As provided in the Applicant Guidebook, all registries are required to implement the PDDRP. The PDDRP provides a mechanism for a complainant to object to the registry operator’s manner of operation or use of the gTLD. The complainant files its objection with a PDDRP provider, who performs a threshold review. The registry operator has the opportunity to respond and the provider issues its determination based on the papers filed, although there may be opportunity for further discovery and a hearing. CREA participates in the PDDRP process as specified in the Applicant Guidebook.
Additional Measures Specific to Rights Protection. CREA provides additional measures against potentially abusive registrations. These measures help mitigate phishing, pharming, and other Internet security threats. The measures exceed the minimum requirements for RPMs defined by Specification 7 of the Registry Agreement and are available at the time of registration. These measures include:
* Rapid Takedown or Suspension Based on Court Orders: CREA complies promptly with any order from a court of competent jurisdiction that directs it to take any action on a domain name that is within its technical capabilities as a TLD registry. These orders may be issued when abusive content, such as child pornography, counterfeit goods, or illegal pharmaceuticals, is associated with the domain name.
* Anti-Abuse Process: CREA implements an anti-abuse process that is executed on domain name takedown requests. The scope of the anti-abuse process includes malicious exploitation of the DNS infrastructure, such as phishing, botnets, and malware.
* Authentication Procedures: Verisign, CREA’s selected backend registry services provider, uses two-factor authentication to augment security protocols for telephone, email, and chat communications.
* Registry Lock: This Verisign service allows registrants to lock a domain name at the registry level to protect against both unintended and malicious changes, deletions, and transfers. Only Verisign, as CREA’s backend registry services provider, can release the lock; thus all other entities that normally are permitted to update Shared Registration System (SRS) records are prevented from doing so. This lock is released only after the registrar makes the request to unlock.
* Malware Code Identification: This safeguard reduces opportunities for abusive behaviors that use registered domain names in the gTLD. Registrants are often unknowing victims of malware exploits. As CREA’s backend registry services provider, Verisign has developed proprietary code to help identify malware in the zones it manages, which in turn helps registrars by identifying malicious code hidden in their domain names.
* DNSSEC Signing Service: Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) helps mitigate pharming attacks that use cache poisoning to redirect unsuspecting users to fraudulent websites or addresses. It uses public key cryptography to digitally sign DNS data when it comes into the system and then validate it at its destination. The .MLS gTLD is DNSSEC-enabled as part of Verisign’s core backend registry services.
3. Resourcing Plans
Resourcing plans for the initial implementation of, and ongoing maintenance for, the rights protection mechanisms in Part 1 of the answer to this Question 29, except for those relating to eligibility requirements, are set forth in the answer to Question 49(a) – contingency planning (detailed further below). As ICANN has not issued final guidance with regard to the Trademark Clearinghouse, and particularly the costs associated with the Clearinghouse, subcontractors and backend providers, such as Verisign, have not been able to quote costs and resource allocations for implementation of the Clearinghouse and other RPMs which incorporate the Clearinghouse. CREA will determine which entity(ies) will provide which services, and allocate costs and resources accordingly, once ICANN has determined a Clearinghouse cost and CREA can determine subcontractor⁄Verisign pricing and availability. In any event, CREA has a firm commitment from Verisign that, at minimum, Verisign will work with CREA to provide all the necessary resources and services to implement and maintain the RPMs contemplated in this answer, and as set forth in Question 49(a), CREA has allocated sufficient committed resources to ensure sufficient resources to cover Verisign’s (or other subcontractor’s) costs.
CREA internal operations for all RPMs will scale as needed to accommodate the volume and nature of all matters not handled by Verisign or subcontractors, including shifting allocations of time from the management team, General Counsel, Customer Support personnel and Technical Labor personnel. In the event registration volume and related income allow, and RPM matter volume dictates, additional personnel may be added to accommodate the matters, up to and including addition of a dedicated RPM Manager with a staff commensurate to need.
Costs for CREA’s operations as detailed above are addressed in the response to Question 47. Specifically, $5,000 has been attributed to legal as part of general administrative expenses per year (see table 3 provided in response to Question 46). In addition, per the Financial Projections Template submitted in response to Question 46, $10,000 per year is budgeted under Other Operating Costs in case of unexpected contingencies, such as the use of outside legal counsel.
With regard to operation of RPMs relating to eligibility requirements, CREA has an experienced management team, compliance team and legal team for overseeing use of their MLS mark and the activities of Boards and members with regard to the MLS mark. With regard to eligibility requirement complaints or other complaints which relate to rights protection which may violate any CREA policy, CREA has established internal procedures for addressing such claims. The procedures involve input from management, compliance and legal, and legal regularly consults with outside legal counsel. CREA has sufficient resources and personnel to provide the compliance services attributed to CREA herein.
Resource Planning Specific to Backend Registry Activities
Verisign, CREA’s selected backend registry services provider, is an experienced backend registry provider that has developed a set of proprietary resourcing models to project the number and type of personnel resources necessary to operate a TLD. Verisign routinely adjusts these staffing models to account for new tools and process innovations. These models enable Verisign to continually right-size its staff to accommodate projected demand and meet service level agreements as well as Internet security and stability requirements. Using the projected usage volume for the most likely scenario (defined in Question 46, Template 1 – Financial Projections: Most Likely) as an input to its staffing models, Verisign derived the necessary personnel levels requiCREA for this gTLD’s initial implementation and ongoing maintenance. Verisign’s pricing for the backend registry services it provides to CREA fully accounts for cost related to this infrastructure, which is provided as Line IIb.G, Total Critical Registry Function Cash Outflows, within the Question 46 financial projections response.
Verisign employs more than 1,040 individuals of which more than 775 comprise its technical work force. (Current statistics are publicly available in Verisign’s quarterly filings.) Drawing from this pool of on-hand and fully committed technical resources, Verisign has maintained DNS operational accuracy and stability 100 percent of the time for more than 13 years for .com, proving Verisign’s ability to align personnel resource growth to the scale increases of Verisign’s TLD service offerings.
Verisign projects it will use the following personnel roles, which are described in Section 5 of the response to Question 31, Technical Overview of Proposed Registry, to support the implementation of RPMs:
* Customer Affairs Organization: 9
* Customer Support Personnel: 36
* Information Security Engineers: 11
To implement and manage the .MLS gTLD as described in this application, Verisign, CREA’s selected backend registry services provider, scales, as needed, the size of each technical area now supporting its portfolio of TLDs. Consistent with its resource modeling, Verisign periodically reviews the level of work to be performed and adjusts staff levels for each technical area.
When usage projections indicate a need for additional staff, Verisign’s internal staffing group uses an in-place staffing process to identify qualified candidates. These candidates are then interviewed by the lead of the relevant technical area. By scaling one common team across all its TLDs instead of creating a new entity to manage only this proposed gTLD, Verisign realizes significant economies of scale and ensures its TLD best practices are followed consistently. This consistent application of best practices helps ensure the security and stability of both the Internet and this proposed gTLD, as Verisign holds all contributing staff members accountable to the same procedures that guide its execution of the Internet’s largest TLDs (i.e., .com and .net). Moreover, by augmenting existing teams, Verisign affords new employees the opportunity to be mentored by existing senior staff. This mentoring minimizes start-up learning curves and helps ensure that new staff members properly execute their duties.
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